Tuesday 3rd November – 34th meeting of 2015
Today we went on a long awaited adventure, to the top of The Orbit at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. We all met, except for one of our ladies who is recovering from an operation, at Stratford Underground station, having travelled by different routes.
Once together we went into Westfield Shopping area and went to Marks and Spencer for a coffee. This area is always bustling and busy with shoppers, business people, mums with babies, friends meeting-up and young people shopping and generally enjoying themselves.
After coffee we walked round to The Orbit, purchased our tickets of £8.00 concessions and then started our journey. We were met by a young guide and stood at the bottom of the sculpture under the dome and he gave us information about the building of this iconic sculpture. The ArcelorMittal (the worlds leading steel and mining company) Orbit was made from 6000 pre-fabricated star-like nodes. These were precision-built by a team of 100 staff in Bolton, Lancashire and assembled on site by four men and a crane. It was designed by Lakshmi Mittal of ArcelorMittal from an idea of his and Mayor Boris Johnson to mark the 2012 London Olympics.
From here we went in the lift which went to the top 114 metres in 30 seconds. Amazing! Once at the top we got a fantastic view over London. The observation area was very large and spacious. There were interactive video screens where you could pick out different buildings and areas of London. In the observation room on either side were two huge shaped mirrors which made the people opposite look upside down! The views were lovely and although not a very good day weatherwise, misty and grey we could still find many familiar buildings. There was a small shop were some of us purchased some goodies, I myself bought a fridge magnet to remind me of my trip up The Orbit. We spent some time just looking out and spotting buildings in the 360 degree view that you get from the top.
When we decided to go down most took the lift but I along with two other ladies decided to use the stairs to get back on land! The stairs were not steep and spaced out well with the gentle twist. On the way down there were recordings of different events that take place around the Orbit. Such sounds as construction work, birds, nature reserve and children playing, although some were pretty hard to name!
The whole area at Stratford is now a very lively and thriving part of London and still holds the feeling of the 2012 Olympics which we all agreed was a fantastic year.
We made our way back to the underground station and went our separate ways to get the quickest way home! We had a wonderful day and I am so pleased that I can now say ‘I’ve been up The Orbit!’.
It was a fabulous day!